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The Unseen World
The unique characters – goblins, hobgoblins, brownies, boggarts and ogres – fascinated the filmmakers. Some were sweet and charming, while others gave them the chills. "When the movie starts it's a little bit like a ghost story,” says Kirkpatrick. "There is something or someone in the house with the Grace family and it's telling them in an ‘Amityville Horror' sense to get out.”

Jared finally meets this somebody – Thimbletack, the house brownie. According to existing faerie lore, house brownies live in the walls of the house and collect shiny things. "He appears, disappears and lives in the walls. He appears when he wants to be seen and disappears when he doesn't,” Kirkpatrick explains. Brownies are somewhat mischievous as well. "They play tricks on people. It's like that sock you can't find – all those things where you say, ‘I swear I put that down . . .‘ The idea is that brownies take those and hide them in the walls.”

Brownies are also known to be very loyal to their masters, in Thimbletack's case Arthur Spiderwick. "Spiderwick gave him one mission before he left, which is, ‘Protect the book.' And that's his whole life.”

They also have one nasty trait: when they get angry they turn into boggarts - which is their ugly side - and it doesn't take much. Thimbletack is like a pot that's about to boil at any moment. "He's constantly trying to contain his rage,” explains ILM visual effects supervisor Tim Alexander. "We did things like put a big green boil popping out of his head, which he'll try to push back in because he doesn't want to turn into a boggart.”

"What's nice about this is that it's sort of representative of Jared when he gets angry,” Kirkpatrick notes. "He has similar anger issues; in essence he becomes a boggart in his own right, which is how he is behaving when we first meet him.”

The Grace kids' nemesis in the film is the evil ogre, Mulgarath, who, like Thimbletack, has one goal – in this case, "Get the book.” "He and Thimbletack are complete opposites,” explains ILM visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman. "They share the same mixture of human nature, but Mulgarath is far more complex. He is not the typical bad guy; in faerie tales, it's not black and white – it's more about grays.” "We started with a Lucifer/fallen angel kind of myth,” says Kirkpatrick.

"Mulgarath is actually a cursed being,” skillfully portrayed by actor Nick Nolte. "He's a guy who wants to be more powerful than he is, and he's reduced to living surrounded by goblins, who are kind of idiots. If he could get the secrets in the book, he could be the most powerful creature of the Unseen World, and he would use it for evil.”

Mulgarath is crafty and manipulative, employing, as needed, a shape-shifting ability at will to prey on the weaknesses of humans, appearing in various clever guises. Surrounding him is an army of goblins, which Kirkpatrick describes as "really the bottom of the food chain of the faerie world. Sort of like dim-witted dogs that follow the ogre and do whatever he tells them to do.”

The goblins are led by Redcap, a Bull Goblin. "He's the majordomo to Mulgarath,” says Tippett. "Like the sergeant-at-arms goblin. The only problem is, he's a coward in the presence of his boss, Mulgarath.”

Another creature that lives in the woods, who befriends the Grace children, is Hogsqueal. "He's a hobgoblin, not a goblin,” reminds Tippett. "He doesn't like to be called a goblin – they're beneath him.”

Hogsqueal is on a quest for vengeance – Mulgarath has killed his entire family, and he's willing to work with the children because he wants to do something about it. The only problem is he's a coward. "He's totally fueled by vengeance, but he's a little guy whose ideas about his own abilities are inflated,” explains Kirkpatrick. "His approach is always, ‘I have these b

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